A side effect of diabetes that no one really talks about is brain fog, this can occur when your blood sugars are either too high or too low. I am sure majority of people have experienced brain fog or something similar, but it is impossible to do anything, let alone work.
It is ridiculous just trying to get things done. Sometimes you can just stare at the screen or whatever you are doing for 20 minutes or so! It is just exhausting.
But there is a difference between high blood sugar brain fog and low blood sugar brain fog. And within this blog post, I will try and explain the difference to you.
What I will say before I begin is that there is no way of getting rid of the brain fog, you just have to ride the wave until its gone. Its very annoying and can be extremely unproductive but that’s just part of our medical condition. I found it so tough to deal with especially in school because your brain would just switch off and you can first of all miss so much vital information but secondly can be severely told off for not listening.
Low Blood Sugar Brain Fog
This occurs because your body is being starved of sugar and needs it to just function normally. When you body is in need to sugar, it starts to restrict some functions to prioritise getting sugar to places where it needs it. And unfortunately, the part of the brain you use for thinking, is one part that switches off. Sometimes I find myself just staring at something for 5 minutes and then I’ll start to twig that something is wrong!
You can feel extremely tired recovering from a hypo due to the rush of adrenaline exiting your body, sometimes you can feel your body takes so much longer catching up with you when recovering after a hypo. This is because of the hormones trying to return to normal after the hypo.
It isn’t pleasant but as I said, unfortunately its part of diabetes. Professionals say that it can take up to 45 minutes for your body to recover from just a normal hypo. But I know myself, I do not give myself enough time to make sure my brain has caught up or I am feeling better to continue with my day. It’s not pleasant and people who do not have diabetes certainly do not think about this additional time – but saying that many diabetics do not know how long it takes for the body to recover. Within this 45-minute time frame post-hypo, the brain fog will be dissipating, and you will start to feel more like yourself!
For some tips on how to deal and cope with blood sugar brain fog, please visit:
Treatment for Brain Fog With Diabetes – the negative side effects are all listed at the top of the page as the worst case scenario, if you think overthink then I recommend reading the link above as that is a nicer read. But just to note that very few diabetics experience the side effects listed. Please scroll down to the ‘How to Cope with Brain Fog for Diabetes’.
High Blood Sugar Brain Fog
The links above refer to both types of brain fog, even though it is only classed under one umbrella term, I find personally anyway, that there is an obvious difference between the two.
The high blood sugar brain fog resembles aggression, frustration, annoyance, lack of patience, you name it. It is just as difficult to get things done when suffering from high blood sugar and high blood sugar brain fog. The reason for this is that your body is trying to reduce the excess sugar naturally (obviously it can’t do it by itself), so all your energy goes into that. You can get annoyed at the lack of concentration, the lack of ability to complete the task. And at this point I recommend taking time for yourself to sort the blood sugars out and have a very well needed break!
Your body craves the sugar and tells your brain that you haven’t got any in your system, so I know for me that’s all I think of! And sometimes I cannot resist those temptations which keep those pesky blood sugars above range.
I find when my blood sugars are high consistently, the brain fog just stays which ultimately makes everything 10x worse, leading to a burnout. The thing is diabetes isn’t just taking insulin 4 times a day or whatever. Diabetes impacts every single aspect of our lives, even the little things such as sleep. If we do not get enough sleep, we have increased insulin resistance creating higher blood sugar.
I myself am going through a rough patch with my diabetes and have been for some time, there are days where it is so much better for sure(!) but on the whole for the past 6 months I have been struggling. I experience a type of brain fog pretty much every day. At the start I tried to just work through it but overtime I have worked out that I need to give myself time and space and allow for a brain reset. Albeit sometimes this is not possible but when I can, when you can, give yourself time to feel better and help set yourself up for a bigger focus on you!
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